THURSDAY THE THIRTEENTH OF SEPTEMBER, 2018
* John Chrysostom *
O Lord Jesus Christ, open the eyes of my heart, that I may hear your word and understand and do your will, for I am a sojourner upon the earth. Hide not your commandments from me, but open my eyes, that I may perceive the wonders of your law. Speak to me the hidden and secret things of your wisdom. On you do I set my hope, O my God, that you shall enlighten my mind and understanding with the light of your knowledge, not only to cherish those things which are written but to do them; that in reading the lives and sayings of the saints I may not sin, but that such may serve for my restoration, enlightenment and sanctification, for the salvation of my soul, and the inheritance of life everlasting. For you are the enlightenment of those who lie in darkness and from you comes every good deed and every gift. Amen.
( John Chrysostom )
The God of mercy be adored, who calls our souls from death;
who saves by his redeeming word and new-creating breath.
To praise the Father and the Son and Spirit, all divine,
the One in Three, and Three in One, let saints and angels join.
( Isaac Watts, 1674–1748 )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
John Chrysostom, golden words from a golden mouth
Today Saint Laika’s remembers one of the Church’s greatest preachers and teachers, John Chrysostom, who began his ministry as a preacher in Antioch and was raised to become the Patriarch of Constantinople.
John was widely known for his excellent sermons. The word “Chrysostom” is not a surname but an honorific. It means “Golden-Mouth.” While others were stressing allegorical meanings for the scriptures, he preferred to preach on the plain sense of the scripture and applied them in practical ways to daily living. He often preached against the abuse of power by those who held authority in government. Against his will, he was brought from Antioch to Constantinople, for the Empress wanted to have the great preacher in her entourage. Unfortunately, John was as resolute in his preaching against government corruption in Constantinople as he was in Antioch, so the Empress quickly turned against him and he was banished into exile. He died in exile on the thirteenth of September, 407AD.
John left a significant amount of writing behind him: homilies, commentary on the scriptures, works of theology. His ongoing influence in the life of the Eastern Church is the "Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom," an order of service that has been used throughout the centuries.
Quote: "Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and his love for us. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved."
Scripture: In "Psalm Forty-Nine," verse one to verse three, we read:
Hear this, all you peoples; give ear, all inhabitants of the world, both low and high, rich and poor together. My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
... for peace in the world.
... for God's mercy.
... for preachers.
... for the suicidal and for those who work to prevent suicide. DETAILS
... for chocolate makers.
... for the victims of sexually abusive priests.
... for those living in the path of Typhoon Mangkhut. DETAILS
... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.
... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
... for ourselves.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
From "Homily XX: On the Statues" by John Chrysostom:
It is not said merely, forego wrath; but retain it not in your mind; think not of it; part with all your resentment; do away the sore. For you suppose that you are paying him back the injury; but you are first tormenting yourself, and setting up your rage as an executioner within you in every part, and tearing up your own bowels. For what can be more wretched than a man perpetually angry? And just as maniacs, who never enjoy tranquility, so also he who is resentful, and retains an enemy, will never have the enjoyment of any peace; incessantly raging, as he does, and daily increasing the tempest of his thoughts calling to mind his words and acts, and detesting the very name of him who has aggrieved him. Do you but mention his enemy, he becomes furious at once, and sustains much inward anguish; and should he chance to get only a bare sight of him, he fears and trembles, as if encountering the worst evils. Yea, if he perceives any of his relations, if but his garment, or his dwelling, or street, he is tormented by the sight of them. For as in the case of those who are beloved, their faces, their garments, their sandals, their houses, or streets, excite us, the instant we behold them; so also should we observe a servant, or friend, or house, or street, or any thing else belonging to those we hate and hold our enemies, we are stung by all these things; and the strokes we endure from the sight of each one of them are frequent and continual.
What is the need then of sustaining such a siege, such torment and such punishment? For if hell did not threaten the resentful; yet for the very torment resulting from the thing itself we ought to forgive the offenses of those who have aggrieved us. But when deathless punishments remain behind, what can be more senseless than the man, who both here and there brings punishment upon himself, while he thinks to be revenged upon his enemy!
O God, who gave to your servant John Chrysostom grace eloquently to proclaim your righteousness and fearlessly to suffer for the honour of your name: bless all preachers of your word with wisdom and skill and bless all who minister in your name with compassion and mercy; through Jesus Christ our saviour and lord. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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